Welcome to this week’s coverage of <i<My Hero Academia’s mid-season light-hearted arc! This week, we see how Bakugo, Shoto and the gang decide to handle a bunch of raucous, overpowered children, and we see Izuku bonding with one of the oft-forgotten members of Class 1-A. Let’s dive right on in!
1. Quirk singularity doomsday theory
The show starts on a darkly hilarious note as we see all the kids let loose from before decide that they have powerful enough quirks to take on the big guys. Sho, the pseudo-leader of their gang, nefariously talks to the camera in a way that makes him more endearing as a character and cheeses the entire scene up nicely. The animators also do a great job at bringing these intriguing new powers to visceral new life, like Binging Ball, Queen Beam, and my personal favorite, Tongue Tank, in which a child has a cannon erupt from his mouth to shoot energy.
What’s interesting is Seiji from Masegaki’s reaction to this. He theorizes that with each generation of kids, quirks are getting stronger and more specific, leading to a theory of his that eventually quirks will be uncontrollable and the world will erupt into anarchy. It’s a small yet well thought out moment of the narrative that leaves us thinking about the consequences of a world with quirks.
2. Caimie is my favorite now
Last week, I thought Caimie was something of a write-off. She was fun but felt down-played because of how easily she was replaced by Toga in the initial Provisional Exam arc. This time around, I’m all here for her. We see that her power is to create illusions, like a super-less creepy Mastermind of “X-Men” fame. She uses this initially to pretend she’s Shoto to one of the girls, swanning and fawning like a true pro.
She also just seems to have complete agency in the way she acts now, rather than just being reactionary. Caimie comes across more here as just bored with the status quo but not being too bothered to do anything significant about it, and now she’s my idol.
3. Meet them at their level
What I appreciate about this arc that truly elevates it above the status of just being filler is that we don’t just finish up with a battle of fisticuffs. Shoto, Bakugo, Caimie, and Inasa all work together to use their own quirks for something different. The result is a way to show kids how to use their quirks and inspire them to think creatively, with all our heroes coming up with effectively a gigantic ice-slide amidst an illusory image of the Northern Lights. Bakugo helps by finding Sho and speaking some words of wisdom that knock him off his high horse, and I love seeing Bakugo as a disgruntled mentor.
We also see how these actions ripple out and affect All Might and Endeavor. Endeavor realizes that he needs to do the same and see Shoto for who he is and what he’s trying to be. You might even say he’s… Endeavoring to be the hero that Shoto wants to be inspired by (I’M SORRY).
Back at UA, we jump back to Izuku and the gang who, thankfully for their sakes, are having a decidedly normal time. We get a fun scene of them working away in a maths class, in which Izuku incorrectly answers a question. As sadistic as this may sound, it’s good to see him fail at these kinds of things every now and then! We also get a little focus on some other students, such as the ace overachiever Momo Yaoyorozu and our beloved head of the class, Tenya Iida.
However, the main focus here is none other than the man who fires lasers from his belly button, Yuga Aoyama himself. He shows up taking a strange curiosity to Izuku by shoving a slice of expensive cheese in his mouth, before leaving a note made out of cheese out the front of Izuku’s dorm saying “I KNOW”. What?!
5. Oh, Aoyama
Izuku’s internal narration and the spooky way that Aoyama has gone about this act seems to strongly suggest that he knows about One For All being passed down from All Might. Not only that but since we know so little about Aoyama, he might have “shown his true colors” as Izuku suggests. During their Ultimate Move training later, Aoyama purposefully uses a move that physically injures him, for two reasons. One, to get some alone time with Izuku, and two, to show that what “he knows” about Izuku is that they both share the problem of their bodies not being suited to their powers.
It’s a touching display and presenting this idea of almost a physical, super-powered dysphoria is a concept that I’ve never really seen explored in western superhero stories as much. It gives a level of depth to another support character from 1-A who definitely seemed like a gag character and shows Izuku that he’s not truly alone in his situation.
That’s it for this week! Tune in next time as we truly start the next arc anew, and sound away in the comments!